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Straterian analyzes international politics in terms of the competing national interests at stake.  Important in this regard are the reasons national governments follow certain policies.  Thucydides claimed that governments go to war because of "fear, honor, interest."  Domestically, governments make and follow policies due to security (of the government), power (over resources), and control (over the people).

 

The policies are marked by action as well as pronouncements.  The latter can of course be seen through all manner of media. A wise government will take a "whole-of-government" approach to its public diplomatic efforts: there will be themes and messages for domestic consumption and others intended to affect domestic audiences.  Internally, those influenced are the government apparatus, the citizens, businesses, military, media, etc.

 

This domestic trinity of "security, power, and control" impacts governmental policies, and influence a state's foreign engagement, as well.  Thus, the activities of domestic trinity, national interests and international politics are nested.  Authoritarian states are able to control the process more deliberately, while liberal democracies will likely present a more convoluted, if not disjointed approach to the process, owing to competing interests of the government, citizens, and businesses.

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Peter Joseph Moons,
Mar 7, 2013, 5:38 AM
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